Explosive offense takes the stage as No. 11 TCU (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) and No. 15 Oregon (9-3, 7-2 Pac 12) clash in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday night in San Antonio.
Both of these programs began the season with national championship aspirations but were marred by injuries to their starting quarterbacks and inconsistent play at times. Oregon plays their first postseason game since losing in the CFP National Championship last year while TCU’s last bowl game was a 42-3 win over Ole Miss in the 2014 Peach Bowl. As they meet to end the season, the Alamo Dome could wind up hosting a track meet, even if only one team has their starter under center.
Preseason No. 7 Oregon began the season an inconsistent 3-3 including a 62-20 loss to then-No. 18 Utah and a loss at home to Washington State. A finger injury to quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. caused him to miss parts of four games but his return on Oct. 17 marked the start of a late-season surge from the Ducks.
Oregon won their last six games, scoring over 40 points in four of them led by Adams’ 1,865 throwing yards, 22 total touchdowns and four interceptions. The Ducks became bowl-eligible with a 61-55 three-overtime win over Arizona State in which Adams threw for 315 yards and four scores. Running back Royce Freeman ranked No. 2 in the Pac 12 in rushing yards (1,706) and tied for first in rushing touchdowns (14) to aid the Ducks to the No. 4 yards per game total in the country (548.2 yards per game).
TCU will be without quarterback Trevone Boykin, who led the preseason No. 2 Horned Frogs to an 8-0 start with 28 passing touchdowns (34 total) and five interceptions while TCU scored at least 40 points in seven of the eight games. A 49-29 loss at then-No. 14 Oklahoma State ended the unbeaten run before Boykin was hobbled by an ankle injury in a win over Kansas the next week. The injury forced him to miss a 30-29 defeat to then-No. 7 Oklahoma, effectively ending the Horned Frogs’ hope for a title.
The senior returned for the finale to help beat No. 7 Baylor but was arrested early Thursday morning in connection to an off-field altercation and suspended for his final college game. Coach Gary Patterson was noncommittal about his starting quarterback but it looks as though senior Bram Kohlhausen (369 yards, three touchdowns) will get the start.
TCU may struggle without Boykin, who led the No. 3 ranked offense in yards per game (564.3) but Oregon’s defense has struggled. They rank No. 115 of 127 FBS teams in yards allowed (480.3).
Start Time:6:45 p.m.
TV Channel: ESPN
Betting Odds: Oregon -7.5